Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett explain reasons for anthem protests

By Jimmy Traina
August 14, 2017

The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board," on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.

1. Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest has been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks because the quarterback remains unsigned as NFL owners continue to blackball him. (Hello, Thad Lewis!) One of the things about Kaepernick's protest that has been completely ignored is that after the first few weeks of the 2016 season, it barely drew any attention or coverage. Of course, the NFL, which likes to think it has cornered the market on patriotism, is too busy making money from commercials to even air the national anthem before regular season games, but that's a whole other issue.

It looks like, though, that the protests are picking up steam as we head into the 2017 season. Over the weekend, Seahawks defensive end, Michael Bennett, eloquently explained why he plans on taking a knee during the anthem going forward. Raiders running back, Marshawn Lynch, was a little less forthcoming after he was caught sitting on a water cooler during the playing of the anthem before Oakland's preseason game on Saturday, since he doesn't talk to the media.

However in Sept. 2016, Lynch told Conan O'Brien, "With what's going on, I'd rather see him take a knee, than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered, so, my take on it is, shit's gotta start somewhere, and if that was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes and see there's really a problem going on and something needs to be done for it to stop and if you're really not racist, then you won't see what he's doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem we have."

Two of those people who obviously weren't interested in the points Lynch and Bennett tried to make are former NHL player, Jeremy Roenick and Steelers linebacker, James Harrison.

But, of course, this is all about perspective.

2. The Yankees suffered a gut-punch loss to the Red Sox last night after closer Aroldis Chapman blew a save in the ninth inning when Rafael Devers hit a long, game-tying home run. If you're one of the millions and millions of people who hate the Yankees, the video below of one fan's reaction, will basically be your porn for the day.

And I've pinpointed the exact time Aaron Judge's struggles began, which has led to the Yankees' recent slide in the standings.

3. Golfer Louis Oosthuizen has finished second in all four Majors this year. After completing the grand slam at the PGA Championship, Oosthuizen treated us to this amazing video.

4. Football coaches really are the weirdest people on the planet. Falcons coach, Dan Quinn, is no different.

5. Ric Flair was hospitalized over the weekend, but details are unknown, Unfortuantely, Flair's business representative sent this alarming tweet on Monday morning.

6. If we were judging on practice and nothing else, Odell Beckham Jr. is the greatest football player of all time.

Are you for real, @obj?! 😱 (via @nflnetwork) 📺: NFLN, 7pm ET

A post shared by NFL (@nfl) on

7. Giancarlo Stanton celebrated hitting the 250 career home run milestone, by thanks his haters. Who on earth hates Giancarlo Stanton? So weird.

8This week's edition of Off The Board has something for everyone. Best-selling author, James Andrew Miller, who has written mega books about ESPN and Saturday Night Live, joined the show to discuss his upcoming podcast series, Origins, which will cover the history of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The breakdown of our interview is as follows:

First 25 minutes: Wide-ranging chat about all things Curb, including our favorite episode, Season 2 possibly being the greatest single season in TV history, the new season (which starts Oct. 1) and the crazy mind of Larry David.

Next 15 minutes: Discussion on the state of ESPN and FS1, what's going on with Katie Nolan and the NFL being "the crack cocaine of America."

Last 5 minutesSaturday Night Live thoughts, including how much the show should use Alec Baldwin as Trump and what will happen if Lorne Michaels ever decides to step down as executive producer.

You can listen to the podcast below or via iTunesSoundCloud and Stitcher. Please subscribe and review. Next week's guest on Off The Board will be legendary WWE superstar, Stone Cold Steve Austin, so if you want to make sure you don't miss it, hit the subscribe button on iTunes.

9. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Get well soon, Nature Boy.

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